September 17, 2016

Rheinard takes Q2 & 3 at EOS


Marc Rheinard is on target for the TQ after taking both the second & third rounds of qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series season opener.  Having kicked off 2WD qualifying this morning at the Nurburgring with a P3 following a mistake on his opening lap, the Yokomo driver would set the pace in the next two to top team-mate Lee Martin on both occasions.  Behind them, in the second qualifier Joona Haatanen would complete the Top 3 while in the third round Q1 pace setter Martin Wollanka would make up for a poor Q2 to put his Xray back at the sharp end of the timing sheets.


Commenting on both runs, Rheinard said ‘Q2 was very close but Lee ran out of tyres towards the end’.  The only driver to manage 16-laps for that round, he added ‘I had one small crash but the rest of the run was fine’.  Again suffering ‘one small mistake’ in the third round, he said, ‘everyone has the same speed and it’s down to who loses the least amount time when they make mistakes’. Adding more weight to his YZ2 to keep it more flat on the high speed ‘touring car sections’, he said the change ‘seemed to be better’.  The 4-time on-road World Champion who can only be denied the overall TQ by Wollanka said tyres are his biggest dilemma for the final qualifier.  With drivers reporting higher wear than usual, he said the tyres are really only good for two runs and having used new tyres in Q3 he doesn’t know whether to run them in Q4 or save them for the finals, drivers getting one new set for the triple mains.


Martin said ‘uneven tyre wear’ cost him in Q2.  The reigning champion said the qualifier ‘started ok but half way through the car started to slide in left turns and got worse and worse’. Fitting new tyres to his YZ2 for Q3 he said he ‘tried to corner too fast and got up on two wheels which was enough to give Marc the TQ’.  Separated by 6/10ths at the end of the 5-minutes, the winner of the season opener last year complimented his team-mate saying, ‘Marc drove a stellar race’.  Looking to the final qualifier, in which he is hoping to secure a TQ run & second on the grid ahead of Wollanka, he will stiffen up the front of the car to try and stop it grip rolling.


‘I made three mistakes, it was too much’, was how Wollanka explained his P6 in the second qualifier.  On Q3, the Austrian said, ‘I am missing a bit of speed.  I had no mistakes, it was a clean run but I only got 3rd’.  Asked where he felt he had lost speed, he replied, ‘the car feels ok but the others are faster now’.  For the final qualifier he will put fresh oil in the diff of his XB2 2017 in the hope this will help him challenge for his first ever EOS TQ.


Having failed to finish Q1 after a motor wire came undone with a minute to go, with all new Reedy electrics in his B6 Haatanen was pleased to bounce back with the third fastest time.  Heading the Associated challenge so far with senior team-mate Neil Cragg not having a good qualifying, the 13-year-old Finn’s time came despite ‘one crash & one roll’.  Describing his car as ‘easy to drive’, the third run wouldn’t go as well as ‘too many crashes at the end’ left him with a P7, him taking full responsibility for the bad driving.  Feeling his car is lacking punch costing him time on the straight and on the bigger jumps, for the fourth & final qualifier the will adjust his speedo settings for more power.


Mister consistent over the three qualifiers, Michal Orlowski made a trio of P4 runs.  Having improved his LRP powered Schumacher after Q1 describing it as ‘much better and now easier to drive’, the Polish ace said one mistake in Q2 cost him the TQ. With ‘the Top 4 very close’, the 15-year-old said running his tyres for a third time in Q3 left him struggling at the end of the heat with the rear of the car becoming loose.  For the final qualifier he will just switch to his second set of hand out tyres laving the car unchanged.

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